Anita Elberse

Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration

Anita Elberse is the Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. 

An award-winning teacher and scholar, Professor Elberse develops and teaches a course on Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries, covering the businesses of entertainment, media, and sports, which ranks among the most sought-after courses in the School’s curriculum for MBA students. She also is the faculty chair of a new executive education program on The Business of Media, Entertainment, and Sports. In her research, Professor Elberse primarily aims to understand what drives the success of products in the entertainment, media, sports, and other creative industries, and how firms can develop effective marketing strategies for such products. She is acclaimed for her work on digital-media strategies. Professor Elberse has conducted case studies on dozens of entertainment companies, personalities, and other entities. Many of these are described in her first book, Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment.

Professor Elberse is one of the youngest female professors to have been promoted to full professor with tenure in Harvard Business School's history.

Anita Elberse is the Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

Professor Elberse develops and teaches a course on Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries, covering the businesses of entertainment, media, and sports, which ranks among the most sought-after courses in the School’s curriculum for MBA students. She also is the faculty chair of a new executive education program on The Business of Media, Entertainment, and Sports, of the Summer Venture in Management Program, and of the annual START program for incoming HBS faculty. Poets & Quants named her one of the world's 40 best business school professors under the age of 40, and she has received teaching awards on multiple occasions from both the Harvard Business School and its students, including the Charles M. Williams Award for excellence in teaching, "Best of EC Year" honors (for top faculty teaching in the Elective Curriculum), and the Faculty Teaching Award.

In her research, Professor Elberse primarily aims to understand what drives the success of products in the entertainment, media, sports, and other creative industries, and how firms can develop effective marketing strategies for such products. She is acclaimed for her work on digital-media strategies, and frequently uses econometric modeling techniques to examine marketing problems. Her work has been published in the Harvard Business Review, Marketing Science, the Journal of Marketing, and several other journals. She was named a Marketing Science Institute Young Scholar in 2011, and serves on the editorial board of Marketing Science.

Professor Elberse has conducted case studies on dozens of entertainment companies, personalities, and other entities. These include record label A&M/Octone Records, cable operator Comcast, book publisher Grand Central Publishing, online video provider Hulu, the campaign for Jay-Z's book Decoded by advertising agency Droga5, entertainment companies Marvel Enterprises and NBCUniversal, nightlife business Marquee, the Metropolitan Opera, sports leagues MLB and the NFL, MRC's television series House of Cards, soccer clubs Real Madrid and Boca Juniors, Vogue magazine, soccer coach Sir Alex Ferguson, and superstars Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, LeBron James, and Maria Sharapova. Many of these case studies are described in her first book, Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment, which Amazon named one of its Best Books of 2013.

Prior to joining Harvard Business School, professor Elberse was a Visiting Fellow and Lecturer at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She holds a PhD from London Business School, an MA in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, and an MA in Communication Science from the University of Amsterdam (cum laude). A native of The Netherlands but now an American citizen, she was awarded a Netherland-America Foundation/Fulbright Fellowship.

Professor Elberse is one of the youngest female professors to have been promoted to full professor with tenure in Harvard Business School's history.

  1. Received the 2014 Robert F. Greenhill Award for "exemplary work on behalf of the Harvard Business School and its mission."

  2. Awarded Amazon’s "Best Books of 2013," Business and Investing category, for Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment (Henry Holt and Company).

  3. Named a TriBeCa Disruptor Foundation Fellow.

  4. Marketing Science article ("Demand and Supply Dynamics for Sequentially Released Products in International Markets: The Case of Motion Pictures," 2003, with Jehoshua Eliashberg) chosen as finalist for the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science "Long Term Impact Award," awarded annually to papers published in the last ten years that are viewed to have made a significant long run impact on the field of Marketing.

  5. Received the 2012 Emerald Management Reviews Citation of Excellence Award, for Harvard Business Review article ("Should You Invest in the Long Tail", 2008) as one of the top 50 articles with proven impact since its publication date from the top 300 management journals in the world.

  6. One of three faculty elected by the HBS Class of 2011 to take part in the "Best of EC Year" Speaker Series, honoring faculty teaching in the second year, Elective Curriculum (EC).

  7. Selected as the 2011 Marketing Science Institute Young Scholar, "identified as a likely leader of the next generation of marketing academics".

  8. Received the 2011 Charles M. Williams Award for "outstanding and effective teaching" in the MBA program, awarded by HBS Dean Nitin Nohria.

  9. Received the HBS Class of 2011 Faculty Award for "excellence in teaching".